Also indexed as:Humulus lupulus
© Steven Foster
How It Works
Hops are high in bitter substances. The two primary bitter constituents are known as humulone and lupulone.3 These are thought to be responsible for the appetite-stimulating properties of hops. Hops also contain about 1–3% volatile oils. Hops have been shown to have mild sedative properties, although the mechanism is unclear.4 Some herbal preparations for insomnia combine hops with more potent sedative herbs, such as valerian. Hops also contain phytoestrogens that bind estrogen receptors in test tube studies but are thought to have only mild estrogen-like actions.5
How to Use It
The German Commission E monograph recommends a single application of 500 mg of dried herb for anxiety or insomnia.6 The dried fruits can be made into a tea by pouring 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water over 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) of the fruit. Steep for ten to fifteen minutes before drinking. Tinctures, 1/4–1/2 teaspoon (1–2 ml) two or three times per day, can also be used. As mentioned above, many herbal preparations use hops in combination with herbal sedatives, including valerian, passion flower, and scullcap.
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